Kazem, "Photographs with Flags" (1997 - 2003), Dimensions variable, Photographs

Mohammed Kazem, “Photographs with Flags” (1997 – 2003)

Contemporary art is a resolutely global affair, but it can be difficult to learn about international art scenes without a big travel budget. On Tuesday, February 26, at 6:30 pm, Reem Fadda, Associate Curator of Middle Eastern Art at the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project, will explore the contemporary history of the United Arab Emirates art scene in a lecture at the museum, “The Contemporary History of the UAE Art Scene.”

In the last few years, the UAE art scene has been the center of the world’s attention as the nation has been building an institutional infrastructure that includes the important Sharjah Biennial, numerous art fairs (Abu Dhabi and Dubai), and major museums, including Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Louvre Abu Dhabi. The country is sowing the seeds of culture with the hopes of growing a fertile artistic crop that would flourish into a global hub of art.

Following Fadda’s lecture, Mohammed Kazem, a featured artist of the UAE pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale, which will be curated by Fadda, will join the curator for a discussion.

Mohammed Kazem

Mohammed Kazem

Mohammed Kazem is a leading conceptual artist in the UAE contemporary art scene and is known for his incorporation of new media and his sophisticated formalist language. Kazem first studied Fine Arts at the Emirates Fine Art Society and subsequently studied music at the Al Rayat Music Institute of Dubai and painting at the Edinburgh College of Art. He was a Painting Instructor at the Dubai Art Atelier for ten years. Kazem has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in the UAE and abroad, and most recently he exhibited at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia (2010) and at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2012).

When selecting Kazem for this year’s UAE pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Fadda explained why the artist was an important artistic voice in the country. “Mohammed Kazem, a pioneering contemporary artist and thinker from the UAE, represents a generation that emerged from an avant-garde legacy of arts and artists in the UAE and the surrounding region, one that has thrived since the mid-’70s with advocates such as his mentor artist Hassan Sharif,” she said. “By engaging the work of Kazem, we can witness the urban modernity of an emerging nation through the eyes of its individual artists.”

The event will take place on Feb 26th at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (Fifth Avenue at 89th Street, Upper East Side, Manhattan) and tickets are $12, $8 members, free for students with valid ID and RSVP. For more information or to purchase tickets please visit guggenheim.og/cca.

If you’re not in New York, don’t worry. You can watch the live webcast of this program at www.ustream.tv/guggenheim

Online viewers can submit questions for the Q&A to publicprograms@guggenheim.org and follow @Guggenheim and the hashtag #KazemUAE to join the conversation online.

The broadcast takes place at:

  • New York: February 26, 6:30 pm EST
  • Los Angeles: February 26, 3:30 pm PST
  • London: February 26, 11:30 pm GMT
  • Abu Dhabi: February 27, 3:30 am UTC

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